Sunday, 17 July 2016

Sunday Summary | If they were me, if they were me, and I was you, and I was you ...

Dear FOQ

Settle in, my friends, this is a big one, expanding in direct proportion to my age, it would seem. Egads.

This fortnight, I have mostly been ...



... Gilmore girls

{Lorelai, proving that the Struggle is Real}
... and the first series of OITNB once again.

(Incidentally, towards the end of the first season, Maritza mentions she has a baby daughter. Does she ever get mentioned again? ...)


  • Flashdance
{Arc welder by day, exotic dancer by night ... though actually
it would have been more useful had Alex been a plumber ...}
Don't let the excellent dance routines detract you from some now very uncomfortable racism and sexism.

  • Drop Dead Gorgeous

which has its deliciously dark moments but feels a little ... overacted now.

That said, it has a brilliant cast (Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Amy Adams, the late but always great Brittany Murphy).

And Kirstie Alley is at her best. (Remember Kirstie Alley?)

  • To Wong Foo ...

I'd forgotten the immortal genius of Swayze, Snipes and Leguizamo in drag.

Especially Leguizamo.

And this wonderful moment from once-my-idol-always-my-idol Stockard Channing, taking one for the girls:

Sigh. I do miss Miss Vida.


... with my new workmates at our summer shindig, which was held here.

I was too darn busy Ceilidh-dancing to take many photos but here, for you, a choice few:

{Quirky road name spotted on the walk
to the venue ...}

{The splendid Canterbury Christ Church university building on the Salomons site}
{The 'groynds' ...}
{Actual people in a photo! My new work girls, Emma, Emily, Megan}
Verdict on the whole event?


My birthday.
My old-gettin'.
My dotage.

{QB minus 38 years | #freakbaby}

My Week of Me began on Monday with a coffee with friend R in honour of his birthday, at West Central, a local café I don't often frequent because, well, I'm a slave to the Costa machine. However, being independent, West Central has a whole 'nother vibe to it.

Not that I won't continue to exploit my Costa Card till the very last creamy cooler is prised from my extremely cold, dead hands:

(and it did take me two hours to down one of those bad boys four days later) but ... different can be nice.

Very nice it was too. I knocked back an espresso over a magazine while I waited for R to arrive:

{The Simple Things, fyr}
then tried a Frosty (or frosted? Can't remember) Lemonade with cream on top, which was remarkably reminiscent of the ice cream on lemonade floats we used to have as children.

Except ever so slightly more ... hipster.

The rest of the day was insignificant, consisting of:
  • Dentistry, and the implicit scolding
{My dentist is only slightly less manic. Truth. But he's good so I'll allow
the mentalism.}
  • Binge-watching (see above)
  • Dusting
  • Living the dream. Same old, same old.

On Tuesday, Ma, Pa and QB headed on down to Dungeness for a day trip. I'm pretty sure I've photographed Dungeness more than I've photographed my own family in recent years but the scenery never gets tired.

{Ma and QB, feet in the sea. Well, a little rivulet, actually,
since the sea was ma-hiles away ...}

After a quick paddle we drove to the RHDR station by the old lighthouse, and had a very nice coffee at the newly refurbed station café:

While we were there, one of the tiny steam engines pulled in for a spell (before collecting more passengers) so being the spod that I am:

{via here}
I popped out to take a few photos of Hurricane:

{RHDR, still providing a more regular, and efficient, service than
... you know who} 
After coffee we had a little wander along the boardwalk (#along the boardwalk ... boardwalk ...#) over the shingle, between the power station, the old lighthouse and the 'new' lighthouse.

Did I mention that the scenery never gets tired? Witness, here and here (see also, the quirky brunette header banner ...):

After a very slight detour, or two, we then drove to Stone-in-Oxney, near Tenterden, for lunch in a recommended pub, The Ferry Inn. Once a smugglers' haunt on what was an island, the pub was first built in 1690 and now sits along a narrow waterway on which an eponymous ferry once ran.

And that's enough education for one day, I think.

Onto the Ever Crucial Description of What We Ate.

I had a cheeky shiraz because, birthday week, and also, lunch, and after quite a wait (during which we muttered under our breaths about the Very Loud Opinionated Obnoxious Heaving Giant of a Man on the table next to us – and his wife, who was sitting across the table, but seemed to be allowed no thoughts or dialogue of her own) Ma and I each took receipt of a very, very nice chargrilled chicken fillet in peanut butter and sweet chilli sauce, with salad and additional frites (because we still love you, Europe)

and Pa had pork medallions ...

... in mushroom sauce. (Oh well, eh?)

All velly, velly delectable. We pushed the boat ferry out and went for dessert as well: raspberry cheesecake for Pa, white chocolate panna cotta with berries for Ma, and profiteroles for me, professional chubster.

By the time dessert came out, our Noisy Neighbour (and his party, who may have had opinions of their own about current affairs but we'll probably never know) had left, and we could enjoy the sweet stuff in delicious silence.

On Wednesday, I pootled over to Horley for a very enjoyable breakfast with Ms Jess W, and a proper catch-up after too many months of mutual isolation (this is what seems to happen in a Voicerox-less era: we've all dispersed just a little too widely. Sad times).

'Twas lovely to see young Jess and put the world to rights (the world should be in good order in my hands by now, or so you'd think ...!), over coffee (tea for Jessie J) pancakes, and a little mini fry-uppy breakfast for this one:

Let's not leave it so long next time.

Thursday, I spent in my own excellent company because, well, introvert. I even had the first lie-in for ages which was shhhhhweet (even though I'd already been "rudely awakened by the dustmen").

Waffles and coffee were required (cwoffles™), followed by much lounging, slobbing, louching and other expressions of near-nothingness. ("I thought about leaving the 'ouse" then decided against it for the time being.)

With a Spotify and vinyl soundtrack, natch.

{#tbt | oh to be ten again | qb on instagram}

And, on Friday, I aged.

Not overnight, of course.

Just ... gradually. Ergo, celebration.

The birthday itself was quite low-key, which was fairly deliberate, but with some definite highlights including opening wonderful cards from nearest and dearest who know me much too well, the obligatory indulgent Coffee in Bed with a Book:

WhatsApping Norgstar while I opened the magnificent gifts she'd sent me, and having her sing Happy Birthday and send me little voice messages to keep me company:

{Yes, that's flamingo wrapping paper! Love it!}

{Oh hello, cactus marquee light!}
{A morning mocktail! | 7UP and grenadine}
I also received this brilliant book from Ms Charliekins, which we'd been chatting about the week before, and which is just giving me Too Many Ideas for the Next Walking Challenge (Cousin Jo, beware ...):

The rest of the day was spent reading in the park, eating lunch in Costa, filing my archived magazine articles (never let it be said I don't live entirely on the edge), receiving lovely messages on FB, watching To Wong Foo ... before 6pm finally rocked around and the proper birthday indulgences could begin:

Sis rocked up at 7.45 and Natalie not long after, so off we pootled to Reigate, for birthday dindins at Bill's, along with Jos, Fern and AJ!

I'm-a just going to leave these shots here ...:

{The antique shop next door | What does the fox say? ... Dare we ask? | Photo by Natalie}

{QB ... with a cute bee! | Photo by Natalie}

{My party peoples!}

{Because party panoramas are always a good idea, right?}

{Wouldn't be a meet-up with Nats without a selfie!}
{Sister act}


'Twas a lovely, lovely night; I felt thoroughly spoiled and all squishy. Thank you for coming, girls, and for the gorgeous cards, gifts and presence therein!

After a couple of Archers, a bit o' Prosecco, one or two Hedgerow Fizzes and a partridge in a pear tree, it's a miracle I managed to haul myself out of bed on Saturday morning to shimmy on over to Caterham to get my hair did ...

... but I did.

{Hair symmetry restored. No more annoying floppy fringe}
The afternoon was Party Time Part Deux: I trotted round to Voicerox Pete and Nicola's pad for their ceremonial Shed-Warming (aka excellent excuse for a party). There was Pimms. There was music. There were many bubbles (of the soap variety). And a magic trick. There was a gorgeous four-month-old baby girl to cuddle. There were more Voicerox Lovelies past and present (shout-out to Gayle, Jude and Alun). It was a jolly lovely afternoon.

And even though I took the wrong turn at a fork in the road and had to take a long route home via the golf course (!) rather than make a fairly short 30-minute direct walk ... it was fine. 'Twas a glorious, hot summer evening at last.

All good.

Well, it's now Sunday ergo Summary Day, but as I'm at Ma and Pa's for Lunch and Lounging without a Laptop, this post is scheduled; any photos taken today (ergo Sunday ... and did I just overuse 'ergo' for no apparent reason?) will be added to the SS at a later date.

Pinterest Pins of the Fortnight

One verbal ♦ one visual

Fortnightly Web Finds

There are many!

Most are videos.

Watch them. Skip them. W'evs. I won't ever know.

Except I will because I'll quiz you on them.

Or will I?

{via here and here}

{via here and here}
  • This Tumblr feed. Not sure how long ago it was last updated but who cares when it's curated so beautifully? | Found via decor8
{via here}
{via here}
  • This a cappella cover of You're the Voice (John Farnham, from The Eighties) is just stunning | on YouTube | via Charlie


You know you love my Southern Fail-related posts. You LOVE 'em. (I know, you'd rather I just belt up and suck it up, buttercup, and yet still they come, the rants ...):

  • This teeny video | on Instagram | via Clare L | {Interesting user name there :-/}

A video posted by @bitchslayings on

  • Also this, via Eloise (I think?)

A video posted by LOL Vines 😂 (@lol_vines) on

and finally ...

That's yer lot for now. *readership heaves collective sigh of relief*

More in a fortnight! Please kindly contain yourselves until then.

qb xx

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